After weight loss surgery, certain supplements are required for the rest of your life. Which medications you are required to take depends on which surgery you had.
Medication guidelines for:
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass/sleeve gastrectomy patients (PDF)
- Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band patients (PDF)
In addition to the new medications that you will take after surgery, you can still take most medications that you were taking prior to surgery.*
For example, you should continue taking the following medications if you have:
- Hypertension: The dosage and amount of your blood pressure medicine may change soon after your surgery. This may include diuretics (water pills). The use of diuretics is associated with changes in potassium levels and blood pressure levels, if you are not staying as hydrated as you should (i.e. having lots of nausea and vomiting, and difficulty keeping liquids down).
- Diabetes: After your surgery your primary care doctor may change your diabetic medications (oral and/or insulin requirements).
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease/stomach acid reflux): Proton Pump Inhibitors may be prescribed after surgery but you may have to wait until you can tolerate small tablets or capsules. Prilosec (generic Omeprazole), Nexium, and Prevacid are available in capsule form. Protonix and Aciphex are available as small tablets.
- Arthritis: Tylenol is safe to take. Use Naproxen (Aleve), Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), Aspirin or Aspirin-like products with caution, and avoid if possible for at least six months after surgery. You should discuss these medications with Dr. Kerlakian or Dr. Tymitz and your primary care doctor. Celebrex and Bextra may be prescribed with close physician supervision.
- Asthma/COPD: You may use inhalers following surgery. Oral steroids can be used if necessary, but you must be monitored closely for signs of gastritis or ulcers.
- If you still have a gallbladder intact: You will be prescribed to take 300mg Ursodiol (Actigall) twice daily to reduce the risk of gallstones for six months after surgery. You will begin taking this medication one week after surgery. You will need to open the capsule and mix contents with food or drink to ingest until one month after surgery. After one month you will be able to swallow the capsule whole.
You can take the following over-the-counter medications for:
- Discomfort, headache or fever: You can take Tylenol caplets. Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
- Cold, flu, cough or allergy symptoms: Do not take any products that contain aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
- For diarrhea or constipation: You can take Milk of Magnesia for constipation and you may take Imodium AD for diarrhea.
- For gas: You can take chewable GasX for gas.
Note: During the first month after surgery you should only take small pills in their whole form. If you need to take a larger pill, it should be crushed first before swallowing. Most patients can take pills of any size after the first post-operative month. Check with your primary care physician to clarify if any changes or precautions are needed with your medications.